The cost of energy in Europe has never been higher, so it’s important to do all you can to save energy wherever possible. The good news is that significant savings can be made over the course of a year by making very simple, relatively insignificant changes to your daily routines.
Change the way you consume energy in your home by following these eight painless tips, and you’ll save yourself a small fortune.
1. HARNESS NATURAL LIGHT WHEREVER POSSIBLE
Rather than light rooms during the day with artificial light, do whatever you can to make use of the sun… after all, it’s completely free! Fully open your blinds and curtains, and make sure furniture isn’t blocking the flow of light. Even during the winter months, making a few changes to the layout and fixtures in your home will help you to reduce your reliance on electric lighting.
2. DON’T LEAVE THINGS ON STANDBY
Modern electrical gadgets consume power even when they appear to be off. Instead of switching of your TV, DVD player or music players with the remote, switch them off at the wall. In 2007, the International Energy Agency predicted that 1% of carbon emissions were down to so-called standby power. Imagine the difference we could make to the environment and our own energy bills if were were all to start unplugging gadgets every night.
3. RECYCLE YOUR OLD DESKTOP
Old-fashioned desktops guzzle energy, thanks to their inefficient cooling fans, hard drives and processors. Mobile devices, such as laptops, are designed to conserve battery life wherever possible, so they typically use a lot less electricity.
4. CHOOSE THE RIGHT TV
Modern televisions now have to comply with tough energy efficiency guidelines, so always check the manufacturer’s energy usage data before making a purchase. And never buy plasma TVs, as they consume between two and three times more energy than LCD TVs. Also, be aware that the larger the screen you choose, the more power it will consume. You can also make small energy savings by setting your TV’s lighting levels low.
5. SWITCH TO FLUORESCENT LIGHTS
First of all, the easiest — and perhaps most obvious — way to save electricity in your home is to switch lights off when they’re not needed. But you can save a great deal more electricity over the course of a year by switching to energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs. They produce 75% less heat, and can last up to four times longer than a traditional bulb. What’s more, a lot of energy providers offer free fluorescent bulbs in exchange for signing up to a long-term energy deal.
6. REDUCE YOUR RELIANCE ON HOT WATER
Around 25% of your gas bill is directly related to the heating of water. So, cut down on your use of hot water, and you will cut your gas bill. Among the things you can do include lowering the temperature of your water heater, taking shorter showers, only doing laundry when you have a full load for the washing machine, and insulating water tanks and pipes.
7. USE MOTION SENSORS AND TIMERS
While the set-up costs involved with installing motion sensors and timers for your lights and heating can be high, the long-term rewards can be massive. Motion detectors will turn lights on when movement is detected in a room or a specific area of your home. After movement has stopped for a predetermined period of time, the lights are automatically switched off — removing the element of human error and the chances of wasting electricity in empty rooms.
8. DON’T LET YOUR HOME BECOME TOO COLD
The energy needed to heat a freezing home is a lot greater than the energy required to keep a home at a consistently comfortable temperature throughout the day. Switching your heating on several times a day can be more efficient than switching it on for a few hours every morning. Most modern central heating systems now have sophisticated timing mechanisms, so make use of yours.
Just a few changes to the way you live your life at home — including switching to an energy-efficient Shark vacuum cleaner — could save you hundreds of Pounds over the course of a year.